Stuttgart-based pharmaceuticals giant Gehe rolls out one-stop shop for GPs and healthcare trusts.
Pharmaceutical wholesaling and pharmacy company Gehe is offering to fund, build and manage surgeries for GPs and healthcare trusts in the UK.

Gehe's British business is offering to provide the initial funding, to obtain planning permission and to build regulation consent. It would then design and build the health centres.

The company is also offering to help GPs develop and manage their own health centres.

In return, Gehe would get a return on its capital investment and would look to include space for one of its pharmacies in the design of the health centre.

Gehe, which is based in Stuttgart, has a turnover of about £9bn, and employs more than 21,000 staff across Europe. It owns the UK pharmacy chain Lloydspharmacy and wholesaler AAH Pharmaceuticals. It has 4360 staff in the UK.

Bob Smaylen, property director for Gehe, said the group had started 12 projects worth a total of £25m and was in negotiations with GPs for another 50.

He said: "We see this scheme as a way to develop our healthcare provision rather than just through pharmacies. We also realise companies like us need to diversify. This is not just property development for us; it's a business opportunity."

Gehe has appointed three architects to design the health centres. These are Edinburgh-based Wheeler & Sproson, Birmingham's Gould Singleton and QMP in Northampton.

We realise companies like us need to diversify

Bob Smaylen, director, Gehe

Smaylen said Gehe had not signed up with one construction company to build all the health centres. Each project would go out to tender, but there was scope for contractors to be used more than once.

Gehe is able to provide premises ranging from a small general practice surgery to a "multidisciplinary primary care resource centre". These could house other health professionals, such as pharmacists, dentists, optometrists and physiotherapists.

Gehe is hoping to steal a march on other developers in the race to win government contracts for the modernisation or renewal of 3000 GP's premises and the development of 500 primary care centres.

The government wants some of these new surgeries to be funded as PPP contracts by its Local Improvement Finance Trust, which was launched last year.

But Smaylen said: "We're looking to get involved in the Lift scheme, but in the meantime there are a lot of GPs who need new premises sooner rather than later."

He added that Gehe's tactic was to approach GPs and healthcare trusts to see if they needed new premises.